The following is an email we received, as visitors from South Africa, as a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5, 2013. We feel fortunate to be in his homeland as the celebration of his life and mourning for his loss become part of the culture we experience first hand in our midst. His contributions to the conservation of the wildlife of South Africa and Africa as a whole, allow us to participate in its vast wonders.
May he rest in peace having left a legacy that will remain in the hearts of many all over the world, forever.
Here’s the message we received:
“South African National Parks (SANParks) joins the world in mourning the death of world iconic, former statesman, Dr. Nelson Mandela.
The Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Dr. David Mabunda passed on his condolences on behalf of SANParks. “It is befitting to pass our heartfelt condolences to Madiba’s family and the country as a whole.”
Dr. Mabunda said, the former statesman played a significant role in the formation of the Transfrontier Conservation Area concept and personally agreed to be a special patron of the Peace Parks Foundation which saw the establishment of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area linking, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Gonarezhou National Park, Manjini Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe as well as the Makuleke region of South Africa.
Nelson Mandela, speaking at the handover of 1000 elephants on the border between South Africa and Mozambique in 2001, said in a world beset by division, he knows of no philosophy or ideology that does not agree with the Peace Park concept. “It promises to bring a better life to some of the poorest citizens of southern Africa… in many ways, the project is a demonstrable
the manifestation of the African Renaissance,” he stated at the time.
Dr. Mabunda recalled the former South African President Nelson Mandela said, that the elephants were part of his “lobola” after he married Ms.Graca Machel.
“Our deepest condolences go to the Mandela family and every single South African in this dark hour. May we all be reminded of the sacrifices that Madiba made in shaping the future of our country Lala ngoxolo Tata Madiba.”